Design Engineering

World’s fastest elevator to rocket riders in Guangzhou high-rise

Mike McLeod   

General Motion Control Machine Building

Hitachi Elevator’s ultra-high-speed lift to ascend at up to 1200 m/min.

14-April-Hitachi-elevator-360Hitachi announced that it will develop the world’s fastest elevator for the 530-meter-tall CTF Finance Centre currently under construction in Guangzhou, China. While the company is contracted to install a total of 95 elevators in the mixed-use, 111-floor skyscraper, two of them will be able to launch visitors at up to 1,200 m/min or 72 kmh (45 mph). At that speed, the elevator will traverse the building’s 440-meter shaft (1st to 95th floor) in 43 seconds.

To achieve those speeds, the elevators will incorporate a Hitachi-developed permanent magnet synchronous motor — a cross between an AC induction motor and a brushless DC motor – that produces higher power density than an induction motor but with low torque ripple. In addition, the company says its will use a thinner yet stronger cable, to reduce the load on the elevator’s traction system, as well as high capacity inverters to control the output of the large-capacity motor.

Of course high speed isn’t all that appealing in an elevator if it feels like you’re careening out of control in a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-style Wonkavator. To provide a smooth ride, Hitachi says the ultra-high-speed elevators will incorporate a single governor to maintain a steady speed.

More importantly, the lift system will feature active guide rollers in the four corners of the elevator car to detect and compensate for minute warping in the guide rails and lateral vibration due to wind pressure. In addition, the cars will be equipped with the company’s proprietary air pressure adjustment technology to reduce the sensation of ear blockage due to the quick change in altitude.


Currently under construction in Guangzhou’s Tianhe District, the CTF Finance Centre is scheduled to open in 2016.


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